Define compare_commits_by_gen_then_commit_date(), which uses generation
numbers as a primary comparison and commit date to break ties (or as a
comparison when both commits do not have computed generation numbers).

Since the commit-graph file is closed under reachability, we know that
all commits in the file have generation at most GENERATION_NUMBER_MAX

This change does not affect the number of commits that are walked during
the execution of paint_down_to_common(), only the order that those
commits are inspected. In the case that commit dates violate topological
order (i.e. a parent is "newer" than a child), the previous code could
walk a commit twice: if a commit is reached with the PARENT1 bit, but
later is re-visited with the PARENT2 bit, then that PARENT2 bit must be
propagated to its parents. Using generation numbers avoids this extra
effort, even if it is somewhat rare.

Signed-off-by: Derrick Stolee <>
 commit.c | 19 ++++++++++++++++++-
 commit.h |  1 +
 2 files changed, 19 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/commit.c b/commit.c
index 3e39c86abf..95ae7e13a3 100644
--- a/commit.c
+++ b/commit.c
@@ -624,6 +624,23 @@ static int compare_commits_by_author_date(const void *a_, 
const void *b_,
        return 0;
+int compare_commits_by_gen_then_commit_date(const void *a_, const void *b_, 
void *unused)
+       const struct commit *a = a_, *b = b_;
+       if (a->generation < b->generation)
+               return 1;
+       else if (a->generation > b->generation)
+               return -1;
+       /* newer commits with larger date first */
+       if (a->date < b->date)
+               return 1;
+       else if (a->date > b->date)
+               return -1;
+       return 0;
 int compare_commits_by_commit_date(const void *a_, const void *b_, void 
        const struct commit *a = a_, *b = b_;
@@ -773,7 +790,7 @@ static int queue_has_nonstale(struct prio_queue *queue)
 /* all input commits in one and twos[] must have been parsed! */
 static struct commit_list *paint_down_to_common(struct commit *one, int n, 
struct commit **twos)
-       struct prio_queue queue = { compare_commits_by_commit_date };
+       struct prio_queue queue = { compare_commits_by_gen_then_commit_date };
        struct commit_list *result = NULL;
        int i;
diff --git a/commit.h b/commit.h
index b91df315c5..c440f56bf9 100644
--- a/commit.h
+++ b/commit.h
@@ -332,6 +332,7 @@ extern int remove_signature(struct strbuf *buf);
 extern int check_commit_signature(const struct commit *commit, struct 
signature_check *sigc);
 int compare_commits_by_commit_date(const void *a_, const void *b_, void 
+int compare_commits_by_gen_then_commit_date(const void *a_, const void *b_, 
void *unused);
 extern int run_commit_hook(int editor_is_used, const char *index_file, const 
char *name, ...);

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